Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...and Spring
The sole occupants of a secluded hermitage are an Old Monk and his boy protege Child Monk. While exploring the world in and around their secluded idyll, Child Monk indulges in the capricious cruelties of boyhood. After tying stones to a fish, a frog, and a snake, Child Monk. The doors open again on Boy Monk now aged 17 who meets a woman making a pilgrimage with her spiritually ill daughter. After a furtive but tender tryst in the abbey's rowboat, the lovers are discovered by Old Monk. The girl, now healed, is sent back to her mother. Forsaking his monastery home, the infatuated Boy Monk follows her. Long absent from the monastery, Young Adult Monk, now a thirty year old fugitive, returns to the abbey raft still consumed by a jealous rage that has compelled him to commit a violent crime. The Old Monk instructs Young Adult Monk to carve Pranjaparpamita (Buddhist) sutras into the hermitage's deck in order to find peace in his heart. Two policemen arrive at the abbey to arrest Young Adult Monk but thanks to Old Monk, they let Young Adult Monk continue carving the sutras. Young Adult Monk collapses from exhaustion and the two policemen finish decorating the sutras before taking Young Adult Monk into custody. Alone again, Old Monk prepares a ritual funereal pyre for himself. The doors open on the now frozen pond and abandoned monastery. The now mature Adult Monk returns to train himself for the penultimate season in his spiritual journey-cycle. A veiled woman arrives bearing an infant that she leaves in Adult Monk's care. The doors open once again on a beautiful spring day. Grown from a child to a man and from a novice to a master, Adult Monk has been reborn as teacher for his new protege. Together, Adult Monk and his young pupil are to start the cycle anew.